As mentioned last week, the big Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 premiere was yesterday in Rome. Rome because one of the movie’s big set pieces, a car chase, takes place in Rome. And … as it always is where Tom’s movies are concerned… the event was a f-cking spectacle. At our ETALK morning meeting today, someone said it looked just as extra as the Cannes Film Festival. As you can see from these visuals, that’s not hyperbole.
Tom wasn’t part of the junket but he did do press on the carpet and, well, you know Tom. He always kinda says the same thing – how much he loves making movies, how he lives to entertain the audience, serve the audience. And, of course, the narrative that’s emerged since the pandemic: that he is the superhero who will save the theatrical experience.
Interestingly enough, from early critics’ reaction after the screening last night, since Tom has been cast – both by himself and by the industry (remember Steven Spielberg told him during last year’s award season that Tom “saved Hollywood’s ass”) – as The Great Hope, the big villain in M:I – Dead Reckoning appears to be AI.
#MissionImpossible DEAD RECKONING PART 1: Tom Cruise hates streaming so much he's made an algorithm the villain. And bless his crazy ass, b/c this is a behemoth-sized spectacle, one go-for-broke set-piece after the next, close to FALLOUT excellence. Henry Czerny fans will go nuts pic.twitter.com/Gj7fYdAr8I— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) June 19, 2023
Tom Cruise was adamant that last summer’s Top Gun: Maverick NOT be streamed, insisting that the film should only be seen in theatres. And that determination paid off. One summer later, Tom is back, and once again the only way you can see him is at the theatre and he’s happy to talk, at length, about what the theatre means to him and judging by what he said on the carpet last night, he will never do a movie that’s meant to be streamed:
I mean, he could go on and on about this – and he has. So the goal for some of the reporters talking to him last night was trying to get him to talk about something new, something fresh. I appreciate then that he was asked about Janet Jackson, after showing up on Instagram with her after her show recently.
Tom was also asked about Scarlett Johansson because she said at the Asteroid City premiere that she would love to work with him. The Hollywood Reporter brought that to Tom and this was his response:
Tom Cruise says he and Scarlett Johansson are "absolutely" going to work together one day: "Sheâ€™s amazing" pic.twitter.com/syZeZWWuiC— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 19, 2023
This seems like… it’s already happening, if Tom says it’s going to happen and Scarjo wants it to happen, I can’t imagine any executive in Hollywood would think it’s a bad idea, to pair these two movie stars. I’m just not convinced that magic automatically happens when you throw people together based on the fact that they’re super super famous. Early reaction out of Dead Reckoning is that Hayley Atwell almost steals the movie, her performance is apparently amazing. Clearly she and Tom have chemistry – which is obviously why she was cast, and why there have been so many rumours about whether or not they hooked up. Chemistry is not a guarantee. I’m not even sure I can picture Tom and Scarjo on the same screen, let alone whether or not they’ll pop when they’re up there. But that’s a conversation for another day. Right now the talk is all about this movie, and so far, from the reaction I’ve seen, Tom has delivered again. Dead Reckoning Part 1 opens in three weeks. The last Mission: Impossible movie came out in 2018 and was the most successful one out of all of them at the box office. Will be very interesting to see what Tom can do this time.
PS. People were annoyed that Tom was apparently an hour and a half late last night because he was meeting with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni. It’s not known what the discussed but it’s probably too much to hope that Tom have been advocating for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and women’s rights during the discussion. Meloni’s government has been called the “maximum expression of homophobia” as it has increasingly limited rights for same-sex parents and has spoken out against gender self-identification and abortion. She is not an ally. And I would have been pissed too if I was there and had known that he held up the premiere because he was with her.